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Facts Matter
How the phone alerts system that rattled Hawaii works
Photo: EUGENE TANNER/AFP/Getty Images

The false alert Saturday morning that a ballistic missile was heading towards Hawaii was sent to phones through a system that involves multiple government agencies and wireless carriers.

Why it matters

What happened in Hawaii is the highest-profile error in recent memory involving a national system that has drawn controversy in the past. The Federal Communications Commission said Saturday it would investigate the false alert, which Sen. Brian Schatz tweeted was "based on a human error."